On 15 August 1947, India attained freedom from the British Rule. Every year, August 15 is celebrated as the Independence Day in India. This national festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country.
The Independence Day of any country is a moment of pride and glory. On this special occasion, rich tributes are paid to the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives and fought to free their motherland from the clutches of the oppressors - British who ruled the country.
"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again."
- Jawaharlal Nehru
(Speech on Indian Independence Day, 1947)
At the strike of midnight of the August 15, 1947, India shook off the shackles of British Rule and became free. It was a night of celebration all over the country.
Commemorating the day India attained freedom (15th August); Independence Day is celebrated with flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes all over the country. The main program is held at the Red Fort where the Prime Minster unfurls the National Flag and it is saluted by Guns.
The Prime Minister's speech at the Red Fort in Delhi is a major highlight. Patriotic presentations by school children add colors to the celebrations.
Delhi’s skyline gets dotted with thousands of kites taking to the sky this day. Similar programmes are held at all the State capitals also.
The preparations begin a month in advance. Roads are decorated with flags and buntings. Buildings of national importance are illuminated.
“Under this flag, there is no difference between a prince and a peasant, between the rich and the poor, between man and women."
Mrs. Sarojini Naidu
The significance of the colours and the chakra in the National Flag was amply described by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in the Constituent Assembly which unanimously adopted the National Flag. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan explained -
"Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation of disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work."
"The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct."
"The green shows our relation to soil, our relation to the plant life here on which all other life depends."
"The Ashoka Wheel in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principles of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change."
On 15 August 1947 India and Pakistan were created. India adopted the tricolour of orange, white, and green with a blue Ashoka Chakra at the centre. Unofficially this tricolour had been the flag of the Indian National Congress. The orange colour represented Hinduism, the green colour - Islam and the white colour represented peace. There was a blue spinning wheel in the centre, which represented Gandhiji's call for economic self-sufficiency through hand spinning.
Prime Minister of India hoists the flag and pays his homage to the freedom fighters and addresses the Nation. Children are brimming with enthusiasm on this day. Early in the morning, they attend the flag hoisting ceremony in their schools. They sing patriotic songs and present skits and dramas based on the freedom struggle.
This special day revives in us the nationalist spirit. There are celebrations all over the country. We listen to patriotic songs, and there are assemblies all over to salute the national flag. People watch the colourful march-past of the local police or the military forces. In educational institutions, the march-past is usually done by students and the National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets. Sweets are distributed and free movie shows featuring Nationalistic and Patrotic movies are shown.